Colin Sharkey, executive director of The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national nonunion, professional association serving educators in all fifty states, has released this statement following President-Elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education:
“We congratulate Commissioner Miguel Cardona on his nomination and look forward to working with the incoming secretary to ensure that every child in this country has access to an excellent education and that the professionals who serve students are empowered and supported.
“Professional educators and education staff in all school settings bring a wealth of knowledge regarding the challenges and opportunities facing today’s educators and the diverse students they serve, and we urge the importance of listening to a range of educators when determining policy including opening schools safely, addressing the digital divide, and equity issues for educators and all learners. As a longtime educator, Commissioner Cardona surely knows the importance of engaging with a wide range of constituents throughout the country when determining policy. The voices represented by AAE and other professional associations are vital to determining effective policies that serve all students and educators. We look forward to amplifying the voices of dedicated professional educators who put students first.
“The pandemic exacerbated numerous issues facing today’s education system, including the limits of one-size-fits-all policies and systems. We are eager to work together with the new secretary and the incoming administration so that schools can be safely opened, educators are prioritized for vaccines, and the loss of learning during the pandemic is addressed. In addition, AAE is also calling on Congress to increase the Educator Expense Deduction this year from $250 to $1,000 and expand it to include up to $400 of internet expenses to reflect the additional financial burden put on our nation’s educators to support distance learning as best they can.
“AAE, a nonpartisan, nonprofit professional educator organization, is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling, a goal we trust is shared by Commissioner Cardona. We look forward to working together to serve our students and educators.”
To learn more about the Association of American Educators (AAE) log on to aaeteachers.org.